LA Times Crossword 11 Jul 20, Saturday

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Constructed by: John-Clark Levin
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Theme: None

Bill’s time: 7m 00s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Author Allende : ISABEL

Isabel Allende is a Chilean writer, apparently the world’s most widely-read, Spanish-language author. Isabel is related to Salvador Allende, the ex-President of Chile.

7 Counter proposals? : ISLANDS

Instead of a kitchen counter against a wall, one might have a counter on an island in the middle of the room.

15 2003 disaster movie about a mission to Earth’s center : THE CORE

“The Core” is a 2003 sci-fi movie about a mission to the center of the Earth to restart the rotation of the planet’s core. The film’s cast includes Aaron Echart, Hilary Swank and Stanley Tucci. I haven’t seen this one …

16 Disneyland’s Golden Horseshoe is one : SALOON

The Golden Horseshoe Saloon is a restaurant and showroom in Frontierland at the Disneyland Park in Anaheim, California. The attraction opened in 1955, and the first show staged there was a private affair held to celebrate the 30th wedding anniversary of Walt Disney and his wife Lillian.

17 Mr. Rogers catchword : NEIGHBOR

The “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” TV show starred Fred Rogers. It was the second-longest running series on PBS television after that other iconic children’s show “Sesame Street”.

18 Car loan figs. : APRS

Annual percentage rate (APR)

19 Leaf pore : STOMA

Stomata (the usual plural of “stoma”, and not “stomas”) are pores found under almost every leaf, clearly visible under a simple microscope. The stomata take in air rich in carbon dioxide. Through the process of photosynthesis, the plants generate oxygen, which is released back into the air though the same stomata.

21 Tolkien being : ELF

In Tolkien’s “The Hobbit” and “The Lord of the Rings”, Elves are an immortal race that inhabit Middle-earth and Valinor.

22 Champagne with an diaeresis : MOET

Moët & Chandon is a French winery, and one of the world’s largest producers of champagne. The company was founded by wine trader Claude Moët in 1743. The name was changed to Moët & Chandon in the 1830s when Pierre-Gabriel Chandon, an in-law to the Moët family, was given co-ownership. Moët & Chandon owns the famous Dom Pérignon brand name, honoring the Benedictine monk who did so much to improve the quality of champagne.

An umlaut (also “diaeresis”) is a diacritical mark consisting of two horizontal dots placed over a letter, usually a vowel. Here in the West, we are perhaps most familiar with umlauts in German, as in “Schön”.

23 Lion, say : CAT

The four “big cats” are the tiger, lion, jaguar and leopard. The largest of the big cats is the tiger, and the smallest is the leopard.

24 Govt. securities : T-BILLS

A Treasury note (T-note) is a government debt that matures in 1-10 years. A T-note has a coupon (interest) payment made every six months. The T-note is purchased at a discount to face value, and at the date of maturity can be redeemed at that face value. A Treasury bill (T-bill) is a similar financial vehicle, but it matures in one year or less, and a T-bond matures in 20-30 years.

28 Suggests to the palate : TASTES OF

The roof of the mouth is known as the palate. The anterior part of the palate is very bony, and is called the hard palate. The posterior part is very fleshy and is called the soft palate. The soft palate is muscular and moves to close off the nasal passages while swallowing.

36 Old news source : CRIER

Town criers make public announcements on the streets, usually shouting “Oyez! Oyez! Oyez!” to attract attention. The term “oyez” derives from the Anglo-Norman word for “listen” and is used in this instance to me “Hear ye!”

37 No WNBA players : MEN

The Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) was founded in 1996. The WNBA had to compete with the American Basketball League (ABL), a professional women’s basketball league that started playing games the same year the WNBA was founded. The ABL folded in its third season.

42 Rockford’s home : ILLINOIS

Rockford the north of Illinois that is the largest city in the state outside of the Chicago metropolitan area. The village of Rockford was named in 1837 for a rocky river ford across the Rock River that flows through the city.

45 Court rival of Roger : RAFAEL

Rafael “Rafa” Nadal is a Spanish tennis player. He is noted for his expertise on clay courts, which earned him the nickname “The King of Clay”.

Roger Federer is a Swiss tennis player considered by many to be the greatest tennis player of all time. Federer is married to former tennis pro Mirka Vavrinec. The couple are parents to two sets of twins.

48 Iraq War danger: Abbr. : IED

Improvised explosive device (IED)

What we now know as the Iraq War started on 20 March 2003 with an invasion by a coalition of forces led by the US. The end of the Iraq War has been set at 15 December 2011, on which date there was a flag-lowering ceremony in Baghdad. The last US troops left Iraq three days later.

49 Hub near de Gaulle : ORLY

Orly is a town on the outskirts of Paris, to the south of the city. It is home to the Paris-Orly Airport, the second busiest international airport for the city after the more recently built Charles de Gaulle Airport. That said, Orly is home to more domestic flights than Charles de Gaulle.

Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport is located just outside Paris in Roissy-en-France, and is known locally as Roissy Airport. It is the second busiest airport in Europe (after London Heathrow) in terms of passenger traffic. It is a popular airport for sure, and hosts more individual airlines than any other in the world.

50 Broadway’s Burrows : ABE

Abe Burrows was an author, composer and director who won four Tony Awards over his career, as well as a Pulitzer Prize for the musical adaptation of the book “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying”.

51 Crystal-lined rock : GEODE

A geode is a rock in which there is a cavity that is lined or filled with crystal formations.

53 Chesapeake delicacy : CRAB

That would be Chesapeake blue crab.

A live blue crab gets its color from pigments in the shell, which predominantly result in a blue color. When a crab is cooked, all the pigments break down except for astaxanthin, a red pigment, which is why crab turns up at the dinner table looking very red.

54 Pull out all the stops : GO TO TOWN

“To pull out all the stops” is to make every possible effort. The phrase is a figurative reference to pipe organ stops, which are pulled out in order to increase musical volume.

A stop is a component of a pipe organ that admits a flow of air to a specific set of organ pipes. The organ player can allow air to flow, or can “stop” it (hence the name “stop”). Stops are classified according to the group of pipes that are controlled, with stops often being named for the sounds imitated by those pipes. So, for example, there are flute stops, string stops and reed stops.

59 Prince of Darkness : EVIL ONE

“Prince of Darkness” is a term used for the Devil. “Prince of Darkness” is a translation of the Latin “princeps tenebrarum”, a phrase used in a fourth century work entitled the “Acts of Pilate”.

60 Midday nap : SIESTA

We use the word “siesta” to describe a short nap in the early afternoon, and imported the word into English from Spanish. In turn, the Spanish word is derived from the Latin “hora sexta” meaning “the sixth hour”. The idea is that the nap is taken at the sixth hour after dawn.

61 Trips taken mostly in the dark : RED-EYES

A red-eye flight is one departing late at night and arriving early the next morning. The term is a reference to tired passengers disembarking with red eyes.

Down

1 Tinder notice : IT’S A MATCH!

Tinder is a matchmaking app that uses Facebook profiles. Users “swipe” photos of potential matches, either to the right (“like”) or to the left (“not interested”). Users who “match” each other can then chat within the app.

2 Show labeled for its early sponsors : SOAP OPERA

The original soap operas were radio dramas back in the fifties. Given the structure of society back then, the daytime broadcasts were aimed at women working in the home as housewives. For some reason the sponsors of those radio shows, and the television shows that followed, were soap manufacturers like Procter & Gamble, Colgate-Palmolive and Lever Brothers. And that’s how the “soap” opera got its name …

3 Fix for an injured knee : ACL REPAIR

The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is one of four major ligaments that support the knee.

7 Couple of People : ITEM

An unmarried couple known to be involved with each other might appear in the gossip columns. This appearance as “an item” in the papers, led to the use of “item” to refer to such a couple, but only since the very early seventies.

There used to be a “People” page in each issue of “Time” magazine. This page was spun-off in 1974 as a publication of its own, which we now call “People” magazine. “People” is noted for its annual special editions with features such as “Best & Worst Dressed” and “Sexiest Man Alive”. The “Sexiest Man Alive” edition now appears at the end of November each year. The first choice for “Sexiest Man” was Mel Gibson, in 1985.

8 Massage technique : SHIATSU

“Shiatsu” is a Japanese word meaning “finger pressure”, and is the name given to a style of massage.

10 Hamburger beef? : ACH!

The German exclamation “ach!” is usually translated into English as “oh!”

Hamburg is the second-largest city in Germany (after Berlin), and the third largest port in Europe (after Rotterdam and Antwerp).

11 Prize founder : NOBEL

Alfred Nobel was a Swedish chemist and businessman. Nobel is famous for the invention of dynamite during his lifetime, as well as for instituting the Nobel Prizes by providing the necessary funds in his will.

13 Russia’s Alexander II emancipated them in 1861 : SERFS

A serf was a member of the lowest feudal class, someone attached to land owned by a lord. “Serf” comes from the Latin “servus”, meaning “slave”.

Tsar Alexander II ruled the Russian Empire from 1855, but he lived in dangerous times. There was an attempt on his life in St. Petersburg in 1866, and then another in 1879. Later in 1879 someone exploded a bomb intended for the tsar’s train, but missed. In 1880 another explosion, this time in a Winter Palace dining room, killed eleven people but missed Alexander. Finally, in 1881 after a bomb exploded under the tsar’s bulletproof carriage, he emerged unharmed but then a second bomb was thrown and exploded at Alexander’s feet, killing him instantly.

17 Disclaimer for sounds-absurd-but-it’s-real news content : NOT THE ONION

The phrase “not the Onion” is used when sharing a story, usually online, that appears absurd but is actually real.

“The Onion” is a satirical news network, with a print newspaper and a heavy online presence. “The Onion” newspaper was founded by two college students at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1988. The founders sold the operation a year later for about $20,000. The paper grew steadily until 1996 when it began to publish online and really took off. I think it’s worth a tad more than $20,000 today …

20 Many Ph.D. candidates : TAS

Teaching assistant (TA)

34 Refreshing coffeehouse order : ICED LATTE

The term “latte” is an abbreviation of the Italian “caffelatte” meaning “coffee (and) milk”. Note that in the correct spelling of “latte”, the Italian word for milk, there is no accent over the “e”. An accent is often added by mistake when we use the word in English, perhaps meaning to suggest that the word is French.

35 Focus of a former Florida museum that featured a Hug Club : TEDDY BEAR

The stuffed toy known as a teddy bear was introduced in the early 1900s and was named after President Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt. The toy was inspired by a political cartoon that was drawn in 1902 showing President Roosevelt on a bear hunt and refusing to kill a black bear cub.

37 2006 Verizon acquisition : MCI

MCI was a giant telecom company that suffered a similar fate to Enron, and around about the same time. MCI’s stock price fell in 2000 and, in maneuvers designed to protect the price, the company committed illegal acts. MCI’s larger-than-life CEO Bernie Ebbers served 13 years of a 25-year sentence, before being released due to a decline in health. He died one month later.

43 Its Jan. 2018 additions include “hangry” and “mansplain” : OED

Work started on what was to become the first “Oxford English Dictionary” (OED) in 1857. Several interim versions of the dictionary were published in the coming years with the first full version appearing, in ten bound volumes, in 1928. The second edition of the OED appeared in 1989 and is made up of twenty volumes. The OED was first published in electronic form in 1988 and went online in 2000. Given the modern use of computers, the publishing house responsible feels that there will never be a third print version of the famous dictionary.

“Hangry” is an informal term meaning “irritable because of hunger”. It is a portmanteau of “hungry” and “angry”.

If a man explains something in a condescending manner to a woman, he is said to be “mansplaining”, a portmanteau of “man” and “explaining”.

49 G7, before Russia’s suspension : OCTET

The G6 was a group of six industrialized nations that formed in 1975 and whose governments met on a periodic basis. The founding members were France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK and the US. The membership expanded in 1976 with the addition of Canada, forming the G7. Russia was given representation in the group in 1997, forming the G8. Russia’s membership was suspended in 2014 after the annexation of Crimea.

55 La Liga cheer : OLE!

The premier division of Spanish club soccer is the “Campeonato Nacional de Liga de Primera División”, or more usual “La Liga” (The League).

56 Yorkie’s group designation : TOY

The Yorkshire terrier is a breed of dog from the county of Yorkshire in the north of England. That part of the country became very industrialized in the 19th-century, and was home to hundreds of clothing mills. The “Yorkie” was developed to catch rats in those mills.

58 “Sprechen __ Deutsch?” : SIE

“Sprechen Sie Deutsch?” is the German for “Do you speak German?”

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Author Allende : ISABEL
7 Counter proposals? : ISLANDS
14 Still ahead : TO COME
15 2003 disaster movie about a mission to Earth’s center : THE CORE
16 Disneyland’s Golden Horseshoe is one : SALOON
17 Mr. Rogers catchword : NEIGHBOR
18 Car loan figs. : APRS
19 Leaf pore : STOMA
21 Tolkien being : ELF
22 Champagne with an diaeresis : MOET
23 Lion, say : CAT
24 Govt. securities : T-BILLS
27 Handy program : APP
28 Suggests to the palate : TASTES OF
30 Join forces : TEAM UP
32 Help a vacationing friend, maybe : HOUSE-SIT
36 Old news source : CRIER
37 No WNBA players : MEN
38 Clam or lobster : SAUCE
39 Crunchy cantina fare : HARD TACO
41 Became one company : MERGED
42 Rockford’s home : ILLINOIS
44 Include in the mix : ADD
45 Court rival of Roger : RAFAEL
48 Iraq War danger: Abbr. : IED
49 Hub near de Gaulle : ORLY
50 Broadway’s Burrows : ABE
51 Crystal-lined rock : GEODE
53 Chesapeake delicacy : CRAB
54 Pull out all the stops : GO TO TOWN
57 Perspicacious : ASTUTE
59 Prince of Darkness : EVIL ONE
60 Midday nap : SIESTA
61 Trips taken mostly in the dark : RED-EYES
62 Leash : TETHER

Down

1 Tinder notice : IT’S A MATCH!
2 Show labeled for its early sponsors : SOAP OPERA
3 Fix for an injured knee : ACL REPAIR
4 Increase : BOOST
5 Broody rock genre : EMO
6 Blank photo cause : LENS CAP
7 Couple of People : ITEM
8 Massage technique : SHIATSU
9 Race stage : LEG
10 Hamburger beef? : ACH!
11 Prize founder : NOBEL
12 Like some humor : DROLL
13 Russia’s Alexander II emancipated them in 1861 : SERFS
17 Disclaimer for sounds-absurd-but-it’s-real news content : NOT THE ONION
20 Many Ph.D. candidates : TAS
25 Supervisors : BOSSES
26 Lead-in to bad news : I FEAR …
28 Symbol of slowness : TURTLE
29 Ages and ages : EON
31 Press and such : MEDIA
33 Consequence of too much sweetness? : SUGAR RUSH
34 Refreshing coffeehouse order : ICED LATTE
35 Focus of a former Florida museum that featured a Hug Club : TEDDY BEAR
37 2006 Verizon acquisition : MCI
40 Expended : ALL GONE
41 Region of long-frustrated peace efforts : MIDEAST
43 Its Jan. 2018 additions include “hangry” and “mansplain” : OED
45 Abandoned party : RAGER
46 Where the stars are : ABOVE
47 Rank : FETID
49 G7, before Russia’s suspension : OCTET
52 Farm girls : EWES
55 La Liga cheer : OLE!
56 Yorkie’s group designation : TOY
58 “Sprechen __ Deutsch?” : SIE

31 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 11 Jul 20, Saturday”

  1. Typical hard Saturday puzzle. No errors, but had to rely on Google help with the champagne clue. And I thought “rager” for
    abandoned party was reaching a little. Just glad I got through it–
    slowly–with no errors.

  2. LAT: 20-25 minutes, no errors. Never heard of a “rager” and got “islands” correct only by getting the surrounding words. I thought Thursday and Friday puzzles were a bit more difficult.

  3. 9:31, no errors. Only misstep was ENT before ELF. Paused for a moment over RAGER, but the crosses were solid (and it is in the dictionary, as it turns out).

  4. Phew, I was not on this guys wave lenght. Alot of answers were pretty far out there, really stretching it quite a bit. Too much for me.

    1. You and me both! As a constructor, Levin evidently takes great pride in crafting goofy and misleading clues (7A, eg) and obscure answers (8D). It seems his primary aim is to ensure a joyless slog for solvers. And he’s good at it — so good that the next time I see his byline, I won’t bother.

  5. 2 errors.. Messed up on 19A. Had STAMI so that gave me SHIITSU for 8D.. I think that’s a dog?? Oh well. Had a tough time with the NW corner., worked my way from the bottom up and it wasn’t until I got SALOON that ISABEL finally fell. Whew! 30 to 35 minutes. Quite the workout.. It’s time for a breakfast burrito!!

  6. Well, someone other than us (and Bill Butler) must be reading these comments. When hangry was in the puzzle around 10 days ago… I looked it up and wrote… It was made an official word in January 2018 by the Oxford English Dictionary. Voila, it was a clue today!

  7. No final errors. A little to easy for a Saturday I thought and Bill’s solve time proves my point…although it is probably moot…ha!

    I did trip myself up for awhile by putting in “Miguel” for 1 Across, but after I saw that too many of the down clues were not working I went back and stuck in Isabel.

    And just like Mr. Muss I had Ent before Elf. As to yesterday’s WSJ and when you said you knew it was about a city in Washington I thought it was DC and not the state it referred to. D’oh! And no, did not get the Meta or try to.

  8. As usual for Saturday it looked tough at first glance but it worked out with no errors.
    Thank you Bill for the “islands” explanation, I would never had made the connection.

  9. No errors, one Google to figure out who federer’s rival was, as I don’t follow tennis, but did recognise who Roger had to be. I thought ISLANDS was a bit of a stretch after I figured out what was meant by the clue, but still… Yeah, OK, Levin clearly enjoys misleading clues and answers, and I do appreciate that it makes for a challenge. I’ll be forewarned the next time I face one of his constructions, as long as I remember his name 😉

  10. Hi @Dirk,

    Regarding my comment about bees yesterday, I’m too lazy to be a beekeeper. It turns out lazy gardening is just the thing for native bees, and I’ve become an advocate for them. So my icon is a shiny, green native bee called Agapostemon.

    1. @Glenn …

      Yes … but I don’t know enough about them to think that they ought to know better … or care enough about them to try to persuade them that they misunderstand what motivates a setter and what the whole point of a crossword puzzle is.

      But … since I’m here … 😜

      Puzzles are meant to be puzzling. They come with clues, not definitions. The same puzzle may appear easy to one person and hard to another person; this does not prove that the puzzle itself is flawed; all it usually says is that the people to whom it was given have different knowledge bases and skill sets.

      I like almost every crossword puzzle I encounter. I do not mind if someone else dislikes a crossword puzzle. It does get under my skin when they claim that such a puzzle is intrinsically flawed, is yet another example of a plethora of flawed puzzles, and should never have been published.

      Obviously, what I should do is prefix all comments posted here with an “IMHO”, but it’s been very difficult to do that with some of them. I will try to do better … 😳.

    2. Hmmm. I misread Glenn’s question as follows: “Is someone (above) expressing a personal opinion on a puzzle that (is) offensive to you?” I therefore thought he was asking, “Why don’t you respond to their opinion as you have sometimes responded to mine?” So the first paragraph of my answer must have sounded a little odd.

  11. Not terribly hard, got all the answers, but couldn’t figure out why “islands” or “ach” made sense. Now I get it, but don’t care for those clues much. Also don’t know why “rager” was defined as an “abandoned” party. Why abandoned?

  12. 22 mins 27 sec, DNF, mostly in the SW corner, and the HARD TACO fill.

    Very poor clueing here, along with a few “if you say so” fills. Great example of manufactured difficulty.

  13. Today’s was fun but it took me a long time to finish. Can’t believe that “redeye’s” took me the longest to figure out. Shameful. (But I never take those flights ever.) Thursday’s was the hardest for me.

  14. A rare finished Saturday puzzle. Had “smoma” for stoma, my only mistake. I loved “Blank photo cause.” I had a Rolleiflex TLR camera with a hinged lens cap allowing you to view wo/ exposing the “taking” lens to harm. I did a minor portrait shoot and only when putting the camera away did I discover that the bottom “taking” lens had been capped the entire time. Stupid stupid stupid stupid stupid, etc.

  15. I assume ‘abandoned party’ is just a turned-around way of saying ‘party with abandon?’ As in, a party in which people are, um, partying with abandon. As in this definition of ABANDON:

    freedom from inhibitions, restraint, concern, or worry: “she danced with abandon.”

    That would seem to fit the meaning of RAGER: “a wild party, typically involving the consumption of alcohol.”

  16. “Sprechen sie Deutsch?” Although I was born after WWII, I somehow remember a positive reply to this query would be countered with: “Then Dropenzee Dead!” The response could have originated from a Sid Ceasar’s Show of Shows, Abbott & Costello or a one-liner in a Borscht Belt Comedian’s repartee. I cannot pinpoint the origin.

  17. No errors. Once I had four straight months without an error, then made two in the same week. After nine months without doing the puzzle, I resumed last Saturday, so I have eight days in a row at this point.
    Re 36A: “Oyez, oyez” is sometimes said by the bailiff in courtrooms, before asking everyone to rise before the judge takes the bench.
    Re 48A: When Harry Smith anchored the CBS Morning News, he invariably said “IUD” instead of “IED.” He apparently could not say “IED” to save his life, and was eventually demoted back to being a field reporter. As a joke, I sometimes refer to him as Harry K. Smith.
    Re 49A: Never thought of Orly as a hub. As Bill notes, it is used more for domestic flights.

  18. I had a long day before I got to this and after a slow start I managed to finish after about an hour with two errors. I forgot to put something in the square: TO_OME and didn’t really know STOMe, but guessed the TAS part right.

    I had to change bruT to MOET, unite to TEAMUP and ClAm to CRAB. All in all a tough but enjoyable puzzle, though.

    @Pam – I can certainly appreciate that; beekeeping can be hot, hard work, which most people don’t appreciate until they do it once. Still, the rewards are pretty sweet 🙂 I tell people I put the 10lb honey supers on the hive and heft the 70lb honey supers off when they’re full, which usually causes their jaws to drop.

  19. A party with ‘abandonment’ is called a “rave.” Not a rager. I fault the lazy editors for that one. And why add on to 28A answer? Ditto to the editors. The answer to “counter proposal” is so far off that both the puzzler and the editors should be ashamed. Tsk, tsk.

    1. RAVE and RAGER are both words for “wild party.” I think either one would be a reasonable answer to the clue “a party where people party with abandon.” However, with due respect to the editors, I don’t think “abandoned party” falls into the Overton window of clue obfuscation.

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